med·​al | \ ˈme-dᵊl How to pronounce medal (audio) \

Definition of medal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small usually metal object bearing a religious emblem or picture
2 : a piece of metal often resembling a coin and having a stamped design that is issued to commemorate a person or event or awarded for excellence or achievement


medaled also medalled; medaling also medalling\ ˈmed-​liŋ , ˈme-​dᵊl-​iŋ How to pronounce medal (audio) \

Definition of medal (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to win a medal medaled in figure skating

Synonyms for medal

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of medal in a Sentence

Noun He was awarded a medal for his heroism. the display case held an impressive array of military medals from World War II Verb She medaled in figure skating in the Olympics.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun College Station, Texas — Deon Lendore, an Olympic bronze medal-winning sprinter for Trinidad & Tobago and former NCAA champion at Texas A&M, was killed in a head-on collision in Texas, state police said. CBS News, 12 Jan. 2022 Defenseman Cayla Barnes of Eastvale in Riverside County, a member of the 2018 gold medal-winning team, made the Olympic roster for the second time. Los Angeles Times, 1 Jan. 2022 Owens’ girlfriend, Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles, attended Sunday’s game and was seen on the in-stadium video board clapping and cheering after the interception. Kristie Rieken, Chron, 27 Dec. 2021 Sweden would have been a challenger to get to the gold medal game this year and give Backstrom another chance. Mike Brehm, USA TODAY, 23 Dec. 2021 Mills pumped in 42 points to push Australia to a 107-93 win over Slovenia in the bronze medal game. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, 2 Dec. 2021 Kerr was struck by the competitiveness of Devin Booker while coaching the Phoenix guard on the gold medal-winning U.S. team in the Tokyo Olympics. Rusty Simmons, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Nov. 2021 Del Castillo will star as Anna Montes de Oca, a gold medal-winning Olympic diver and Mexican national hero. John Hopewell, Variety, 11 Nov. 2021 LaVine, who played alongside Durant on the gold-medal-winning U.S. team at the Tokyo Olympics, said Durant is almost immune from any kind of defense thrown at him. Paul Sullivan,, 9 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Though Canada, France and Russia also boast top teams, the U.S. is the only country to medal in ice dance at each of the past four Olympics. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, 10 Jan. 2022 Jackson now stands atop the World Cup standings — 10 points ahead of Japan’s Nao Kodaira, the silver medalist at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics — and is marked as a favorite to medal in China in February. The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Dec. 2021 In 2018, Gerard became the youngest American man to medal at the Winter Olympics in nearly a century (since 1928) after taking gold in the sport at age 17. Lindsay Kimble,, 18 Oct. 2021 Stemmons, a club swimmer, has a chance to medal at state in swimming. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 13 Oct. 2021 Although this was the final for the team competition, the men still have opportunities to medal in individual events. Alexandra Svokos, ABC News, 26 July 2021 On Sunday evening, roughly five weeks before the start of the Tokyo Paralympics, Meyers, a deaf-blind swimmer with a chance to medal in four events, pulled the plug on her Olympic dream — most likely forever. Dave Sheinin, Anchorage Daily News, 20 July 2021 Chamley-Watson was the first American to medal at the World Championships, winning a bronze in 2008, and the first to win the men’s foil world championship, in 2013. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 4 Oct. 2021 Coincidentally, the goal of Hocker’s first pro season will be to medal at next July’s World Championships — held on his home Hayward Field track at Eugene, Oregon. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'medal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of medal


circa 1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1979, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for medal


Middle French medaille, from Old Italian medaglia coin worth half a denarius, medal, from Vulgar Latin *medalis half, alteration of Late Latin medialis middle, from Latin medius — more at mid

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Time Traveler for medal

Time Traveler

The first known use of medal was circa 1578

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Dictionary Entries Near medal



medal bronze

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Statistics for medal

Last Updated

15 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Medal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for medal



English Language Learners Definition of medal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a piece of metal often in the form of a coin with designs and words in honor of a special event, a person, or an achievement



English Language Learners Definition of medal (Entry 2 of 2)

: to win a medal


med·​al | \ ˈme-dᵊl How to pronounce medal (audio) \

Kids Definition of medal

: a piece of metal often in the form of a coin with design and words in honor of a special event, a person, or an achievement

More from Merriam-Webster on medal

Nglish: Translation of medal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of medal for Arabic Speakers


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